In this adaptation of William Saroyan's award-winning play The Time of Your Life, James Cagney plays a gentle barfly named Joe who settles in Nick's (William Bendix) Bar with various colorful characters like an imaginative old cowboy or a tap dancing comic who can't get laughs. His sister Jeanne plays Kitty Duval, a woman who claims to once have been in burlesque. She and her brother have some of the most touching scenes in the movie. The pace takes a while to get used to but if you're in the mood for something optimistically offbeat, The Time of Your Life should be up your alley.
February 9, 2014 Subject:
Kissing the Jack Warners Goodbye.
Without a big studio behind him, Mr. Cagney was a flop. Same thing happened to Frank Capra. And William Saroyan used to be a better than average writer until everyone started calling him a genius, then he had to fill those shoes. The best thing about this picture is that it was a screen test for Bill Bendix's comic abilities. Jeanne Cagney was rather pretty in a sullen way. See her in the PD "Quicksand" with Mickey Rooney and Peter Lorre.
September 22, 2013 Subject:
Radio city music hall 1948
In the summer of 1948 I was taking a class at Columbia UNiversity and one afternoon went to see the Rocketts. I don't remember anything about them but this movie accompanied the stage show and remained vividly in my memory. Seeing it again was a great pleasure.
December 18, 2011 Subject:
Cagney Is Saroyan's THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE
In 1948 I was busy being born, arrived in the spring. This movie springs off that era with a play writer's view on a movie set. But this set is really the one and only scene, so it does the script incredible justice.
The characters are lively, but also sweet as the baby's butt that I was back then. It represents a time of innocence in our history. Yet it touches on the multiple themes of hurt between people. Well worth watching!
May 2, 2011 Subject:
...and then read the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon stories by Spider Robinson. After that, sit in a quiet place for a while and meditate on human nature, and see if you don't wind up shaking your head, too. ;)
September 5, 2009 Subject:
This is probably the strangest and most rarely seen film in the Cagney collection. Based on a one set stage play it is pleasant enough but doesn't really work as a movie. Cagney hardly moves from his chair until the last five minutes!
With some well known faces in minor supporting roles the film is one for collectors of movie oddities.One nice touch- Cagney saying that he couldn't dance!